Thursday, 24 September 2009

Adding up the travel days

Rest assured that it will not be long after Kevin Rudd returns from his latest world tour before the Opposition mounts another one of its attacks on him for being such a peripatetic fellow. The assumption is that there are votes in portraying the PM as spends his time swanning round the world on a private jet while staying in luxury accommodation. Call it an appeal to the politics of envy.
And true it no doubt is that people meeting in those little market research focus groups grumble a bit about the injustice of life when they can’t get out of the western suburbs while Kevin Rudd is shaking hands with the rich and powerful overseas. But there is another side to this politics of world travel or our much-travelled Prime Minister would not have the phenomenally high approval rating that he has. Australians want their country to be respected by others and a leader who looks comfortable meeting the Queen, a Pope or a US President is a symbol of that.
Sure there will be the odd joke and snide remark but pride wins out whether it is a George W.Bush praising his friend, John Howard, or Bill Clinton declaring how clever is Kevin.
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